HeartMind: Art & Zen Workshop, Online 10/8 - 10/10

Practice Center
Date / Time
Oct 8, 2021 / 4:00pm - Oct 10, 2021 / 6:00pm
Event Type
Workshops and Retreats

The Zoom link to participate in this event will be provided 24 hours before the start date. Please call 415-354-0360 if you have any questions.

Friday – Sunday

Beginners welcome; no experience necessary.

The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water … Each reflection, however long or short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky. —Dogen's Genjokoan

Have you experienced self-doubt in your creative practice?
How does your creative practice relate to your spiritual practice?
What would happen if these two paths were united in your life?

Explore the mountains and rivers of creativity as illuminated by the clear and bright heartmind with Artist / Founder / Abbess of the Art Monastery Suiko Betsy McCall and Artist / Poet / Activist / Zen Teacher Qayyum Johnson.

In this workshop you will learn to meditate with inks as they move on the paper, to play in the spontaneous freedom of gestural abstraction, to focus with repetitive mark making, to befriend your Inner Critic and to source creative inspiration in the Genjokoan (Dogen’s premier expression of Zen practice).

On Saturday, learn Suiko's approach to painting using alcohol-based inks on Japanese "treeless paper" called Yupo. On Sunday, learn to apply that approach to your own creative practice, whatever unique-to-you form that may take.

Explore the poetry of the Genjokoan with Qayyum, turning the mysterious examples of Zen awakening as inspiration for weaving our own sacred brocade of engaged right livelihood and compassionate self-expression.

Together we will cultivate an appreciation for art that is inextricably twined with the Dharma and our unfolding human journey. In gathering during this retreat we’ll cultivate a strong sense of our inter-being, bringing forth the bonds of connection as a community of creative contemplatives. Courageously sharing our artworks and challenges as dharma dialogue among spiritual friends allows an uplifted spirit of inquiry into practice to become a powerful antidote to isolation, self-doubt and discouragement!

Whether you already have an art practice or are looking to reconnect with your creativity, this workshop opens the door to unifying meditation with artmaking and as a result, deepening both practices.

This online retreat will offer

  • Zazen (meditation) instruction
  • guided creative practices with Suiko
  • Dharma talks with Qayyum
  • small group conversations in "compassion chambers" to explore provocative themes
  • spacious time to work on your own creative projects offline and away from the computer


  • Yupo paper (Any size is fine; I recommend the 11"x14" pad with 10 sheets of 74 lb, opaque white.)
  • 3 or more Alcohol inks in colors you like (available individually or in 3-packs)
  • 90% Isopropyl Alcohol (70% doesn’t work. It needs to be 90% or higher.)
  • A dropper (I prefer glass ones but plastic also works fine. You can also use a drinking straw.)
  • Optional: 2 Posca X-fine tip paint pens that coordinate with your Alcohol inks; one in white or a very light color; one in black or a dark color
  • Optional: Sumi ink, watercolors, and acrylic inks are all beautiful on Yupo

NOTE: If you prefer to minimize your purchases, you could get Yupo and use any kind of wet media (watercolor, ink, gouache, etc.). If you’d prefer to abstain from all purchases, you can use whatever paper and wet media supplies you have (including coffee or tea as ink). If you would like further ideas on substitutions, please send an email to Suiko at suiko@artmonastery.org.

While the first of the two guided creative practices is painting, all art forms are welcome and encouraged!

Join us for a time of deep replenishment and expansion of the heartmind.

Schedule - all times are PT

4 - 6 pm PT Opening: Introductions and Opening Ceremony
Saturday & Sunday

10 am - 1 pm PT

PRACTICE & TEACHING: Zazen, Dharma Talk, Discussion, 15-minute break,
Group Sharing, Guided Creative Practice
1 - 4:30 pm PT MAKING & RESTING: 3.5 hours offline for meals, rest, solo creative time
4:30 - 6 pm PT SHARING: Artshare
Fee Information
  • General $230
  • Current SFZC Members $207

We offer a number of discounted tickets:

  • Sliding Scale 1: $138
  • Sliding Scale 2: $57.50

Register Online

Or call 415-354-0360.